So You Want To Learn About Photography?

I love photography. I don’t claim to be a professional and I am far from an expert. But, what I lack in skills and talent I make up for in enthusiasm.

Here are my Photography 101: Myths and Truths

Myth #1:
I’m going to need an expensive camera to take better pictures.

This is FALSE. There are artists who take photos with the iPhones. Sure, a better camera has better optics, but these aren’t going to matter right away. A camera is like a computer – it only does what you tell it do it. So, you can’t buy an expensive camera, point it at someone, click the shutter button and end up with a beautiful timeless photos of gallery quality. No, you have to control everything that you can to achieve the shot you want. This requires skill, knowledge and practice. There’s more to good photography than an expensive camera.

Myth #2
I can easily start up a business with Photography.

This too my friends is false. If you’re looking to make a load of money – forget it. I’m not saying it isn’t possible, but now-a-days, photography is tough business. The digital age allows folks to have access to cheaper technology to reproduce your photos whether you like it or not. Photographers used to make money on prints – not anymore. Also, like I said, the digital age allows novice users to take average photos, plop them into their photo editors, manipulate them for hours and wind up with a knock ‘em dead photo. You must learn to shoot as well as you can SOOC (straight out of the camera) first, because if you’re spending hours manipulating every last photo, this isn’t going to help you keep up with a busy wedding season. You’ll have angry brides calling you wondering where their photos are. My friend also taught me (he was a videographer and lighting director) that there’s two things people hate: 1. their voice and 2. how they look. Your job as a photographer is to make people look good…and you bet they have expectations.

Myth #3
I need a camera with HUGE Megapixels to get crisp clear shots

Ugh. People. Get real. Unless you plan on blowing up a picture to the size of a football field, don’t worry about it. NO NO NO. Sharpness and crisp images has to deal with how steady you have the camera and how well you take the shot. You can get a Blackberry photo as good as a 12MP camera if you’re good! This goes back to the whole notion that expensive cameras can take bad photos too! Why waste your money and use a professional grade camera like a point-and-shoot? You can have the extra cash to travel, go to concerts or feed your children.

Myth #4
Photoshop will fix all my errors

Sure, Photoshop can do anything. Feed 3rd world countries, cure AIDS and more. Seriously? Even BAD photos can’t always be saved by the angel that Photoshop is. I believe that a good photographer can shoot a great shot SOOC by knowing their equipment. Sure, it’s fine to crop, adjust some colors and what not – but don’t rely on Photoshop to give you that amazing shot. It’s cheap (the action of editing a photo in Photoshop to achieve great photographer status, not the program itself). Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s perfectly okay to use Photoshop to make beautiful art – but you’re not a photographer then, you’re a Photoshop artist.

Myth #5
Good Photographers are evil people and will judge me as a person and my work

Okay, so I’m sure I come across as a bitter “photographer”. This is not true. Many true photographers are more than happy to help you learn, and share tricks and techniques. If you see a photo that you like in a message board or Flickr – ASK. ASK how they got that shot. Join a MeetUp in your area, read a blog or a photography class. The more you learn, the more you’ll have to go out and practice with. There’s more to getting a good shot than an expensive camera and aiming it at something pretty. There are hundreds of blogs dedicated to the topic and I suggest you read them, because they do good stuff – and better than me.

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